March 17, 2009 · Print This Article
And who’s to blame? The french, of course!
While the classic wild caviar due to poaching, overfishing and pollution of the Caspian Sea, is getting harder to find each day, alternatives show up. Of course, farmed caviar (from sturgeon roe) being the best ‘substitute’ for the wild thing (and in some farms even surpassing the quality of wild!). Besides farmed caviar there is today a wide offer of other fish eggs that try to get into the luxury dimension. Tobiko, Tarama, Bottarga, Bowin, Lobsviar (roe from Lobster), etc. seem to get their share – altough not on the top of the quality and price pyramid.
Now, the one that really gets tickling my curiousity are the roe from snails – or better ’escargots’ (Hélix Aspera Maxima).
The french company De Jaegers after a period of extensive research has a stock of about 60’000 snails (= 200kg. for the worldmarket). These slippery little bastards (for the ones who saw Pretty Woman) seem to produce some very tasty, pink-white looking eggs. Ok, the truth to be told, I doubt that the above image shows the roe and not some shiny tinny plastic balls…
The snails lay about 100 eggs once a year, which gives aprox. 4gramms of snail caviar. So, about 260 snails are needed to get to 1kg. (!!!).
De Jaeger promises a ‘sensation of a walk in the forest after the rain, mushrooms and oak leaf flavours, the scent of humid moss peat’. And the price range reflects this effort and promise. A 250grm. tin goes over the counter for about 1’000USD. Well, that’s the deal if you want to stay in your cozy home but walk in the forest at the same time.
Related article on luxuo.com